Storytelling for Pharma Marketing

Storytelling for pharma marketing would sometimes be alien to you though it is being used in other industries during the last decade. But I have seen a few pharma companies have already started storytelling techniques for pharmaceutical marketing too.  

Isn’t it odd to use traditional-aged old detailing in front of your customer? Did you notice the customer’s uncomfortable face when your field force started to detail? This is the time to update aged old pharmaceutical marketing strategies. Read about them here. You must have seen customers’ irritative reactions to a boring product detailing. I propose you put yourself into the customer’s shoes how hard it is to digest an artificial and robot type detailing. Hence, I want to tell you the solution is storytelling. But what do you know about this fascinating marketing tool? Read further down you will have a fair understanding. 

What is the difference between detailing and storytelling?

difference-between-detailing-and storytelling
Difference between detailing and storytelling

The most straightforward answer is detailing is highly logical and artificial, but storytelling is emotional and man-to-man feeling. It seems you like to see more differences for a better understanding.

Don’t you think storytelling has incredible characteristics to use for your marketing effort? Stories are for human but detailing is for robots. Pharma customers are human beings. Read more about pharma customers here. But how? Right, before we move into that, I am asking you to get the meaning of the above differences.

How to use storytelling for pharma marketing?

You must be thinking that storytelling is only medical detailing. No, I want to emphasize to you, you can adapt to storytelling for all your promotional effort or marketing effort. Your promotional brochures can decide according to a story that your product fitting in. I suggest you create a marketing campaign that aligns with your story. You may run a highly personalized digital media campaign for your customer according to a scripted story but within the regulations. 

Storytelling is not limited to replace the detailing instead you can use it for broader tactical change.

Where to start to use storytelling for pharma

As I explained to you above there is not blanket or single story for all the customers like detailing. Hence, you should find the ideal buyer persona for your customer with information such as purchase funnel, other factors involved with the customer for their decision making, customer’s current problem with competitive or alternative brands.

Story creation

Unlike detailing stories start from “why”. Customers buy your product or in a pharma scenario prescribe when they understand why you sell the product. Comparatively, they have the least concern about “what” you are selling. Hence, in storytelling “Golden circle” start with WHY then HOW, and finally What. 

“People do not buy what you do, they buy why you do it” you might have heard this famous quote from Simon Sinek. Because “WHY” always align with emotional factors and you deal with customer emotions. Storytelling is all about dealing with customer emotions. 

In the “HOW” part of your story, you should project how your product or service helps your customer or end-user to solve the problems. Now you are extending your emotional bond that started in the WHY segment towards your solution “HOW”. In the “HOW” segment perhaps you can share other customers’ testimonials or in pharma endorsements of other prescribers. In here, experience sharing would give you much attention.  

“WHAT” means your offering, here is the resolution for the problem of the customer. Here you can use information that you used for conventional detailing. Especially in pharmaceutical marketing, you can use a few analyses and proofs to convince your customer of your offering. 

If you properly inspect your previous promotional materials you would find, your promotional approach has started from “WHAT”. Isn’t it time to change your approach?

Things to remember when you create the story

Your story should have a conflict. Without a conflict no story is interesting and you receive fake or low attention from your customer. Hence, it has become a rule for storytelling. But remember conflict must be true and genuine, you may use few exaggerations to make it more fruitful.

At last but important, your story should have characters and this is the reason why I asked you to understand your customer or audience perfectly before you start to create a story for your products. After understanding the customer you can decide which perspective to use. First Person, Second Person, or Third Person.

Your story will flow through these characters. In the pharmaceutical industry, you might not want to use the First Person perspective “I” as customers are dominant and strong in their subject. However, you can use Second Person “YOU” and Third Person (He says, She says, etc)

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2 Responses

  1. June 4, 2021

    […] In marketing, a rational approach targets the customer’s conscious mind whereas, emotional stories attract into the customer’s subconscious mind which plants your brand message for a long time. If you like to read more about marketing storytelling click here. […]

  2. September 6, 2022

    […] Marketing Strategies […]

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